DIVIDEND payments by UK companies soared to £19.1bn in the second quarter of 2011, the largest amount paid out since the same period in 2008.
UK mining companies were the biggest contributors to the 27 per cent jump in payouts compared to last year, quadrupling their dividends to a total of £1.85bn from just £451m in the second quarter of 2010, according to the latest Capita Registrars Dividend Monitor report.
South America-focused copper miner Antofagasta led the comeback in the sector with a special dividend of £540m, while Anglo American made its first final dividend payment in four years, distributing £360m to shareholders.
But the recovery in payouts was spread across a broad variety of sectors, with life insurance companies and British American Tobacco upping their contributions to the £4.1bn overall increase in cash. Of the 247 companies that paid a dividend in the second quarter, 210 increased, reinstated or started paying dividends, while just 32 cut or cancelled them.
TOP FIVE DIVIDENDS, FIRST HALF 2011
1) Royal Dutch Shell £3.2bn
2) HSBC £2.4bn
3) GlaxoSmithKline £2bn
4) BP £1.8bn
5) British American Tobacco £1.8bn